Three articles in yesterday’s Macleans on community Missing in Action. Barbara Amiel talks about Daul Kim, a South Korean model who killed herself at 20, writing before she died that “the more I gain the more lonely it is. I’m like a ghost”; Kate Fillion interviewing a former Tokyo hostess who provided emotional comfort to Japanese men for a living, thereby losing her own husband and finally, a short story referring to Nadia Kajouji, who committed suicide after discussing it online.
Community is one manner in which to combat systemic loneliness. Sadly, we don’t have strong communities.
I think about this problem from a public policy perspective often enough. Would we have a campaign for government-funded daycare, if families weren’t so atomized? Would we have a campaign for the legalization of assisted suicide if people didn’t fear becoming a burden as they age and sitting around by themselves, staring at the walls? Would we think abortion was a viable option if women and men and families were supported in a meaningful way? I wonder.
With community MIA, government tries to fund it. This doesn’t work, generally speaking. I say strong families and/or friendships create the strong communities, not the other way around.
I am reading a book just now by Jean Vanier about community. It’s a good read. We may have no community in modern, North American life because it’s easier to live in the delusion that one is perfect, simply because one is alone.
Just rambling thoughts for a Saturday morning.